NCLAT directs Jet Airways IRP, Dutch court administrator to coordinate

Jet Airways
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday directed the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) of Jet Airways and the administrator of Dutch insolvency court, which has declared the airline insolvent, to coordinate with each other. Both the parties will file terms of their agreement within the next two weeks, a three-member bench headed by Chairperson Justice S J Mukhopadhaya said. The appellate tribunal will next hear the matter on September 20.

“The IRP has to collate the claims of the all financial creditors and operational creditors, domestic or internationally,” said NCLAT.

During the last hearing on August 21, the NCLAT had asked the Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Jet if they would coordinate with the Dutch court appointed administrator and accord other equally situated foreign lenders, who were also pursuing insolvency proceedings against the debt-laden airline, the same status as they would to the secured and unsecured financial creditors in India.

During the proceedings on Wednesday, though the CoC told the appellate tribunal that they were ready to cooperate with the Dutch court administrator, the NCLAT observed that the lenders could only make observations. 

The observation by the three-member bench came after the Dutch court administrator submitted that while he had no problem working with the IRP, the CoC could not give directions to him.

Apart from India, Jet is also facing insolvency proceedings in the Netherlands, which is a regional hub for the European operations of the airline. Jet was declared bankrupt in the Netherlands in response to a complaint filed by two European creditors, H Esser Finance Company and Wallenborn Transport, who had claimed unpaid dues worth Rs 280 crore.

Following this, the insolvency administrators had approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with a plea that they should be allowed to access the firm’s assets in India, too, which would enable them to recover monies to pay off the two European creditors.

The NCLT had rejected the Dutch court appointed administrator’s plea for being heard in the case, following which they had approached the appellate tribunal. 

The NCLAT had, while agreeing to hear the Dutch court administrator, also stayed a portion of the NCLT Mumbai Bench’s order that held that Dutch insolvency administrator’s offshore proceeding were not maintainable and hence they could not be allowed to access the airlines’ financial assets in India.

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